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Where Do I Start With My Disaster Recovery Planning ?

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If you run your own business, you know that unplanned disasters, accidents, or threats can strike your company when you least expect it. Regardless of the physical size of any business, large or small, disaster recovery planning is essential.  Having a solid backup and recovery plan is the key to protecting a successful business. Unplanned business interruptions can range from an unexpected power outage due to a storm, to a debilitating earthquake, an act of war, a local fire to a fast-spreading forest fire, flooding, or even a computer virus that infects your whole business.  Instead of hoping that nothing will happen, putting solid Disaster Recovery Plans and Services in place is the best way to achieve peace of mind.

Planning, Testing, Recovery Phases
During the planning phase of the process, even before deciding on solutions, begin by brainstorming both expected and unexpected business interruptions that can happen.  The likelihood of each occurring should not be a factor in determining the type of protections needed.  Next decide which solutions are the most feasible, affordable and realistic for your business.  And, the final step of the process, the step most often skimped on, test that your recovery plans actually work.  If the planning, testing, and recovery phases all check out, then you will still need to work at keeping the plan up-to-date, both with the best solutions, but also to account for any new disaster-scenarios that may have been overlooked or underestimated in the past.

Be All Inclusive
Sometimes it is easy to overlook the obvious preventive measures, from simply having surge protectors for your hardware to updating to the latest security patches for the software on all of your company’s  systems. Having backup or secondary power supply units are also keys to keeping your business running in the event of either a mild or severe power disruption or outage in your area.  Have protection not just from your on-site facilities, but also for any off-site and remote locations that you depend on, both during core and non-core working hours. This will give you the peace of mind of knowing your business is protected even when you are not there.

Real-Time Back-Ups
When it comes to protecting sensitive and crucial company information, have backup copies of all your transactional data and office documents.  Store these backups in a location away from your place of business.  Consider using specialized software such as the sharepoint document migration tool to help you manage your important files. Be sure to know if you can get by with end-of-day backups or if real-time up-to-the minute backups are critical. Have backups of your backups and redundancies in several locations.

Start with putting the basics in place, then consider consulting with disaster recovery specialists. Do not make the mistake of not having a plan in place.  Also, be thorough in your planning since one miscalculation can be the one that makes the difference in how quickly you can recover, if at all.

 

Citations:
  • Photo Credit: title=”Earthquake” by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, on Flickr

Helen Hoefele is a part of an elite team of writers who have contributed to hundreds of blogs and news sites. Follow her @For_You_To_Know

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